Houston consulate closure: China warns students in US over 'arbitrary interrogations and detentions'

WION Web Team Beijing Jul 22, 2020, 05.03 PM(IST)

Chinese Consulate Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The US State Department said that China had engaged in spying operations adding that "these activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years".

After the United States asked Chinese authorities to close its Houston consulate over alleged spying operations, China today warned its students to "be on guard" over "arbitrary interrogations and detentions".

Also Read: China's Houston consulate closed to 'protect American intellectual property', says US

In a dramatic move on Wednesday, the US government ordered the Chinese consulate to close in order to "protect American intellectual property and American private information".

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The US State Department said that China had engaged in spying operations adding that "these activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years".

The Chinese foreign ministry warning students, saying: "Recently, US law enforcement agencies have stepped up arbitrary interrogations, harassment, confiscation of personal belongings and detention targeting Chinese international students in the US."

Earlier in the day, there were reports of documents were being burned in the consulate as firefighters arrived but they were not allowed to enter the building.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: "China urges the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, or China will definitely take a proper and necessary response."

"It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law... and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US." it added.

Meanwhile, reports said China may shut the United States consulate in Wuhan which was the epicentre of the coronavirus, however, it has not been officially confirmed.